Gemstone Caverns

Legality

Format Legality
Noble Legal
Leviathan Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
Vanguard Legal
Legacy Legal
Archenemy Legal
Planechase Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Unformat Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Time Spiral (TSP) Rare

Combos Browse all

Gemstone Caverns

Legendary Land

If Gemstone Caverns is in your opening hand and you're not playing first, you may begin the game with Gemstone Caverns in play with a luck counter on it. If you do, remove a card in your hand from the game.

Tap: Add (1) to your mana pool. If Gemstone Caverns has a luck counter on it, instead add one mana of any color to your mana pool.

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Gemstone Caverns Discussion

SynergyBuild on Stormgorger Xira Arien

5 days ago

That is fair... I have run a 22 land storm build, with a Gemstone Caverns too... so I am a bit greedy, just a bit, the deck was a Sidisi, Undead Vizier Ad Nauseam deck using a CMC of the deck which is less than 35, so you can draw it all out, and go off with Tendrils of Agony or Aetherflux Reservoir to win, with most of the deck being ramp, 0 mana artifacts, rituals, and tutors. A couple bits of protection too.

You know the feeling where someone is surprised you go beneath 37 lands and you stare blankly at them... yeah...

SynergyBuild on Stormgorger Xira Arien

5 days ago

I am a very greedy player, and everything for fast mana I can do I will, so I guess Gemstone Caverns is a personal bias, but I would like to make note that in all honesty, I find it helps every opening hand I find it in, as long as I am not going first, and I don't think it is as awful as you are making it out to be if you draw it later. I will say that though Tarnished Citadel might be a bit bad if it is your only source of mana for a specific color and you are going Worldgorger Dragon, but I think this deck fixes well enough that by turn 3-4 you should have enough duals to not have to Lightning Bolt yourself for any color.

I will say I don't know exactly how much your meta is benefited by an Urborg, so I may not be able to comment on whether or not it is a good card, but it would hurt in my meta at least.

Thanks for the reply!

SynergyBuild on Stormgorger Xira Arien

5 days ago

+1! Glad I found the list, a few questions about the manabase, first, Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth seems out of place here, it just simply feels a bit too group-huggish for a 3 colored deck, 4+ might need the fixing but you seem fine.

Tarnished Citadel and Gemstone Caverns are questions 2&3, why aren't you running either? Most of the duals seem worse than them, IMO.

SynergyBuild on Arahbo, Xenagos... for Cats EDH

6 days ago

Sterling Grove is a powerful card, but not just for Sylvan Library, if that is your best option, don't run it.

I understand Spike Feeder and Archangel of Thune combo perfectky well, simply in a competitive environment, either one will be countered, or they will be removed with something like Chain of Vaporing the Archangel, in response to the first activation of Spike Feeder. That is a blowout like a Time Walk since you can't activate it again without killing the Spike Weaver. Felidar Sovereign with Chord of Calling is your best actual wincon, but I mean... 9 mana/creatures? What turn are you on? If this deck consistently puts out creatures and mana like that by turn 3, since you need to win by turn 4 at the latest for this to be a combo/aggro cEDH deck, then run it, I just don't think that is plausible.

2/2 Cats aren't a real strategy on their own. They don't make mana, and so don't combo out and win, simply put, I could get into Commander theory and the 'Aggro Problem', but I will just copy and paste the work I already did for something else:

So, in EDH, there is a common dilemma called The Aggro Problem, in which is, what many believe to be the reason for the idea that EDH is so slow. Unlike Modern, Legacy, Standard, Pauper, or Vintage, EDH has each player's original life totals set to 40, or 50 for the Oloro, Ageless Ascetic player. This would be a bit difficult for normal aggro to exist, but because it is a four-player format, from the point of veiw of an aggro player, they need to dole out 120 life, which isn't something they can do nearly at all. Even if your opponents start killing each other, an aggro player would averagely have to deal 60 damage if they attack each other and not you, or averagely 80 damage under a normal circumstance of each player dealing out damage to each other.


This is too much for them. Generally there are a few way aggro compensates, one of which abuses the already built-in system of 'Commander Damage.' Building up a ton of auras and equipment on a commander to make it huge and swing in for 21 damage works in a lot of cases, and is called "Voltron." The main issue with this is a cheap and fast commander like Rafiq of the Many is too easily prone to removal like Swords to Plowshares, and more controlling commander like Sigarda, Host of Herons or Uril, the Miststalker are generally a bit too , slow to get around board wipes like Toxic Deluge, Wrath of God, Damnation, Day of Judgment and Supreme Verdict.


But there are other tricks aggro has up its sleeves, think infect. Really, infect is just as powerful in Modern or Legacy than in EDH, right? Well, not exactly, yes infect still only needs to deal 10 poison counters to kill a player, but you still have to deal at least 30 damage given your opponents can't kill faster than you, or if they are also playing infect. It's tracked differently, so if someone is at one life, they can take up to 9 poison counters and still live. Running Atraxa, Praetors' Voice can give some inevitability to your infect win, and stuff like Saskia the Unyielding can also be run to make you only have to deal 20 damage to win with infect.

The biggest issue with infect is that players generally frown upon it, and will target you, or player cards like Solemnity as a counter to it. Some playgroups set the poison counters needed to kill to 15 or 20, and some outright ban it. Also, since there are no commanders other than Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon directly support it, there is little consistency to infect decks, despite there explosive turns and wins.


Well, that is the aggro problem, it is what leads so many decks to be control, midrange, combo, or hybrid builds, and why the format is generally considered slow. This isn't to say decks can't win turn 1 or anything, tons of combo decks can, however, this is what leads to the final point. Combo is generally the best win condition, not to say a deck like Edric, Spymaster of Trest shouldn't beat face to win, but for most decks, combo with differing levels of disruption is the best strategy.

Many playgroups don't use combos, whether they are more casual, frown upon combo, outright ban it, or simply run more beatdown strategies and don't care for combo particularly. This is perfectly fine, and reasonable, but it is the work-around for the aggro problem, while not relying solely on control.

Okay, so now you see the problem with aggro, and why 2/2 cats in essence aren't a wincon, Archangel of Thune can be removed in response to the first Spike Weaver activation, and so aren't as instant win as you thought, and even so, unless you have enough creatures to kill each other player, it isn't going to win the game, as they will simply win on their turn, in a cEDH meta. Since Felidar Guardian combo is too slow generally, and you only run 4 tutors for the Thune-Weaver Combo, it isn't a fast combo deck.

That isn't to say it isn't competitive, you could make it stax, run the fast elf-ramp, and Armageddon until you win, but that still requires a different gameplan.


Again, all of this is meaningless if you don't want to make it stax or fast combo, but without blue, your card draw isn't their for permission control, and that means you aren't able to consistently make this cEDH competitive, but I won't claim it is bad or anything, it is simply a high-powered mid-level EDH deck, and I think that is fine.

You were very right on one of your points on that many other commanders would be better, I would suggest Selvala, Explorer Returned and do something like Explorey-Os! Selvala Combo/Stax.


On ramp, most of the options you mentioned were sub-par, Tithe, Cultivate, Kodama's Reach, Growing Rites of Itlimoc  Flip, Mirari's Wake all are either too expensive or not impactful enough, 1 mana ramp is where you want to be, the fast rocks, Ancient Tomb/Gaea's Cradle/Gemstone Caverns, elves, etc.


Good luck!

SynergyBuild on Omnipotence Comes With An Iron Grip

1 week ago

Well, I mean Bolas is one of the most power-hungry and powerful planeswalkers in the game, if that doesn't say cEDH I don't know what does, also RNG doesn't exist in Gemstone Caverns, IE no rolling dice or flipping coins, but if you just mean randomness, I could say the same thing for every card that you only want openning hand and is a bad draw later on, like Sol Ring, or the two leylines, or Mana Crypt.

The essence of Bolas is 'Everything to Win', so the cards like Mana Crypt, Mana Vault, Tarnished Citadel, Ad Nauseam, Imperial Seal, Mana Confluence, Shivan Reef, Underground River, Ancient Tomb, and City of Brass are more flavorful than cards like Izzet Boilerworks, and also are just good cards.

Jank is generally the opposite of competitive, so why every turn 4 win is supposedly jank, and Laboratory Maniac is supposedly jank too is beyond me.

Also, discard is a mechanic of stax, a key mechanic of that too, if you have ever seen a cEDH mono-black stax deck not running discard, be my guest. It is too powerful an effect not to use if your goal is to stop your opponents from casting spells.


Also, have you seen Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker? He ends games fast, not slow. I turn one any land and Lotus Petal to Flash+Arena Rector him out and it is over, no buts about it, that one player who might have an answer? +3 and their only land is gone, next turn do the same, next turn ultimate him, rinse repeat on the other two players who are still in the game, protecting him from Chain of Vapors and Into the Roils with the Counterspells in my hand, until they are all out of lands, cards, and permanents, and eventually life too, GG.

Also, the original Nicol Bolas, yeah I run him in modern, who else am I gonna turn one out with two Simian Spirit Guides, a Faithless Looting and Goryo's Vengeance, Emrakul, the Aeons Torn? Nah, he blows up their permanents, what permanents are they going to have turn one? Not much, discarding their hand is much better, but obviously I run both.


Point is, I don't think the essence of Nicol Bolas is to be a slow, grindy controlling deck, it is a deck that wins every time, for now and forever, sure, I'd probably argue grixis twin should be the deck for Nicol Bolas, but he'd only be used for the commander, and wouldn't serve a purpose in the deck other than for colors.

You also asked me for advice, so take it or not, but I got the deck to be more competitive and down to 100 cards, like you wanted.

DrkNinja on Omnipotence Comes With An Iron Grip

1 week ago

I don't want a jank win, I play LabMan in two other decks and my playgroup hates that it just says "hey we can't do anything about this loss"

I don't like RNG based things like Gemstone Caverns, Leyline is an exception because I want to play everything at instant speed and Vedalken Orrery is 4 CMC anyways so might as well add that RNG to it.

I don't like lands that tax my life total, I've watched too many people die to themselves with it.

Also I don't want my discard to affect me, because of two reasons. One, its not very bolas like to put schemes into play that are going to hurt myself; two, I'm playing control so I don't want to be forced to discard the cards I'm holding up.

Lastly I want to stay halfway casual and halfway cEDH. So no stax, land destruction, or jank turn 4 wins. I just want the game state to bend to my will in the true essence of Bolas.

SynergyBuild on Omnipotence Comes With An Iron Grip

1 week ago

You have 137 cards, you need to drop 37?

Okay:

Landbase drops/adds:

Drop all three temples, bounce lands, Sunken Hollow and Smoldering Marsh, Forge of Heroes, Command Beacon, the three lands like Sulfur Falls, Dragonskull Summit, Desolate Lighthouse, and Drowned Catacomb, total of 13 lands, but add City of Brass, Gemstone Caverns, Ancient Tomb, Mana Confluence, Tarnished Citadel, Gemstone Mine, Shivan Reef, Underground River, and Command Tower

Total loss of cards = 5, rest needed = 32

Mainboard additions I'd suggest?

Talisman of Dominance, Fellwar Stone, Talisman of Indulgence, Bottomless Pit, Dark Confidant, Snapcaster Mage, Timetwister, Ponder, Brainstorm, Laboratory Maniac, Demonic Consultation, Tainted Pact, Imperial Seal, Dismember, Chain of Vapor, Pact of Negation, Mystic Remora, Swan Song, Delay, Dispel, Liliana of the Veil, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Chrome Mox, Mana Vault, Mox Diamond, Lotus Petal, and Rolling Earthquake.

Addition of 27 cards = 59 total to drop

Drops:

Xantcha, Sleeper Agent, Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker, Vedalken Humiliator, The Scarab God, Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh, Liliana Vess, The Eldest Reborn, Painful Quandary, Pendrell Mists, Mind's Dilation, Omniscience, Leyline of Anticipation, Hero's Downfall, Stunning Reversal, Rakdos Charm, Thrilling Encore, Countersquall, Desertion, Go for the Throat, Fraying Omnipotence, Hour of Devastation, Tormenting Voice, Torment of Hailfire, Syphon Mind, Disrupt Decorum, Dark Intimations, Cruel Ultimatum, Blatant Thievery, Beacon of Unrest, Blasphemous Act, Damnation, Bloodchief Ascension, Disciple of Bolas, Etali, Primal Storm, Nightveil Specter, Fell Specter, Blazing Specter, Augur of Bolas, Clever Impersonator, Jace's Archivist, Kess, Dissident Mage, Mystic Confluence, Disallow, Cryptic Command, Reforge the Soul, Megrim, Liliana's Caress, Entreat the Dead, Phyrexian Arena, Rhystic Study, Search for Azcanta  Flip, Dream Salvage, Chromatic Lantern, Expedition Map, Lightning Greaves, Worldgorger Dragon, Animate Dead, Gonti, Lord of Luxury and Glacial Chasm

That should do it! 100 card deck!


The biggest upside to my switches and drops is the extreme amount of lowering that is done to the average cmc of the deck, along with the droppage of slower cards that do little without other spells. The new gameplan would be use discard and disruption like countermagic and removal to stop your opponents just long enough to use Laboratory Maniac with Demonic Consultation or Tainted Pact to exile your deck, and usually a draw spell like Brainstorm. More tutors for consistent gameplay is in the switches too.

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